The Hard Problem of Data Analytics in Africa

One of the attributes of really good technology is that it hides the complexity of what goes on in the background, while still being useful. Depending on how old you are, you may remember having to set up a TV by selecting UHF or VHF with a little switch and then slowly turning a dial until a picture appeared out of the fuzz. Then you’d adjust the “bunny ears” aerial, and twiddle the tuner again to see if you could make the image even better. Continue reading “The Hard Problem of Data Analytics in Africa”

Really Old Data Visualisation Book

If you are into this sort of thing, Microsoft and the Internet Archive have digitised a copy of the 1919 epic Graphic Methods for Presenting Facts by Willard C. Brinton. While not one of the original seminal works, it still shows that the thinking that goes into basic information display is a lot older than we generally assume. And it has some very cool illustrations, which today would get you a post on

War, slightly more wasteful than coffee

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One Year of Comrades Training

On a recent job at Discovery to do some analytics for Vitality, I was looking at data that is recorded into their platform as part of their insurance linked wellness program. There are various activities that are tracked as part of the program and a fair amount of it is running data. Given the size of their customer base it’s fair to assume that many of them have run the Comrades Marathon, and I wanted to see what all those runner’s various training programs looked like. Continue reading “One Year of Comrades Training”

Misery Index

There have been a couple of articles recently that have spoken about South Africa having a bad Misery Index rating. Its quite a harsh term, but ennui index or “not cool man” index isn’t going to grab headlines. Like a lot of statistics reported in popular media, it tends to be reported as a snap snot number at a particular time rather than the trend. So here is a historic plot that shows how miserable we have been since 1994.  Continue reading “Misery Index”